College Degree Relevancy Declining. Really? Show Me.

Few would argue that a piece of paper certifying you survived four years on campus means you'll be a top performer.

As the employment market has gotten tighter in recent years, there has been an increasing buzz around college degree relevancy. One could certainly argue that in key markets – IT comes to mind – the college degree carries less weight than it used to but does that mean employers have stopped looking for a college degree in their screening process?

A recent I4CP Productivity Blog asks the question: Is it time to rethink the college degree requirement? Few would argue that a piece of paper certifying you survived four or five years on a campus means strong performance will follow but we’re not sure the college degree has become irrelevant… yet. In fact, when we see evidence like this testifying to a shift in behavior:

  • Over a quarter (27%) of organizations indicate less emphasis on college degrees for new hires; and,
  • Nearly a third (31%) anticipate [even] less emphasis going forward;

our spidey-sense about the difference between what someone says and what they actually do needs to be shown in a bit more detail.

[You might also like: An overlooked diversity hiring opportunity]

Equivalency vs college degree

When considering college degree relevancy one needs to ask some key questions. Just how many hires for professional-level positions requiring degrees in years past are now going to folks who can demonstrate an equivalent? And how many of those jobs we know never required a college degree are now being filled with folks who just happen to have a degree versus a few years ago?

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Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology and others in the USA as well as iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.
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